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Esports will be next big thing in tourism: Liew

KOTA KINABALU: The State Tourism, Culture and Environment Ministry foresee a promising future for esports as the next big thing in tourism development in the State. Its Minister Datuk Christina Liew said as seen in many other countries, esports events have successfully attracted a huge army of local and overseas fans, including many of the world’s biggest and famous brands.“By riding on the popularity of esports, tourism in Sabah, which has been one of the highest revenue earning industries, can benefit from the massive worldwide audience.“Our Ministry will always be supportive of esports development in Sabah. Of course, when we talk about esports in relation to our tourism industry, it is something new. But we have seen how other sports like soccer and golf have contributed to tourism. I believe esports will be the next big one,” she said after receiving a courtesy call by Triple Comma Gaming (TCG), Sabah’s first and only professional esports team.

The team recently won the Immortals Cup, Sabah’s first premier DOTA 2 tournament, organised by Daily Express. Liew again congratulated Sabah Publishing House Sdn Bhd Deputy General Manager Lawrence Yeh, who led the team during the courtesy call, for having the vision of what esports can become in the State which led him to take the initiative to organise the tournament earlier this month.“Lawrence did a fantastic job of gathering our talented young people. I encourage him to continue by going national and even international as I believe esports development in Sabah will go very far,” she said, adding she looks forward to seeing Lawrence bring as many esports players and fans to the State to participate in tournaments. Liew said Sabah has to catch up on esports development, having herself personally seen how it is already a big thing in Japan during her recent visit to the country.

Assembled only three months ago, TCG, whose five players are salaried by a local e-commerce start-up, Epost Express, has now become Sabah’s flag-bearer in national and international tournaments, including for this year’s SEA Games qualifiers. For the first time this year, esports has been made a medal sport in the Games to be held in the Philippines. A few months ago, Youth and Sports Minister Syed Saddiq Abdul Rahman had also expressed his conviction that esports has the pulling power to boost the country’s tourism industry. The country’s youngest Minister at 26 had said that tournaments like DOTA 2 have a huge audience.

Through esports events, Saddiq said, the country wanted to attract youths in the Asian region so they would know about Malaysia and want to visit. With hundreds of millions of viewers globally, esports is fast becoming a massive industry on its own, with many of the world’s major companies and brands having deepened their ties with it.

Source: Daily Express | Mar 24, 2019